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Columnists, The Roundtable

Taming APC’s Vagabond Tigers

Posted: Jul 22, 2015 at 2:53 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Jesus specially handpicked twelve individuals when he was set to establish his ministry on earth. His aim was to turn them into twelve tigers who would take the world by storm. But along the line one of them chose to manifest as a vagabond on the prowl. His misplaced sense of nationalism and materialism led him to break ranks with other members of the party and fatally betray his leader.

It is said that all cats are gray in the dark, which may explain why the feeling of “We are all in this together” in the bid to topple the PDP from power seemed to have papered over the cracks in philosophy and outlook among the ‘crusaders.’ And now, the chickens are coming home to roost! Be that as it may, there are still 18-carat purveyors of progressive politics in the APC who are greatly bothered by the seemingly intractable leadership crisis in the national assembly that has subjected the party to public ridicule and opprobrium.

These patriots can find solace in the knowledge that despite Judas’ betrayal, the remaining eleven disciples focused entirely on how to successfully fulfill their master’s mission with as much energy and enthusiasm as possible. The authentic leaders of the embattled APC must equally have the same mindset as the eleven disciples. Right from the days of the struggle for independence, the ‘progressives’ have fantasized, envisioned and futilely schemed for an opportunity to control the central government and take Nigerians to the Promised Land and it would amount to an unmitigated disaster if by acts of commission or omission they allow the opportunity Providence has finally gifted them to slip through their fingers.

At a recent news conference, a key member of the Unity Forum, Senator Barau Jibrin, forewarned the Saraki-Ekweremadu group to be ready for war when plenary resumes next week Tuesday. And while warning against blatant acts of impunity in the national assembly, he drew the attention of the public to a paper titled “Leadership in the National Assembly” which Senator Ike Ekweremadu presented in Abuja at the Induction Certificate Course on Legislative Studies for the 8th National Assembly on April 27 for fresh and ranking senators.

In the paper, Ekweremadu reportedly harped on the supremacy of the party in the appointment of the principal officers of the Upper Chamber. What happened between then and June 9 that caused him to torpedo his view and gatecrash APC’s celebration party if not crass opportunism and the concept of stomach infrastructure that has always held precedence over principles and scruples among the political elite? It equally explains why House Speaker Yakubu Dogara would pen a cheeky letter to APC’s national chairman ‘cooly’ shunning the party’s directive and revealing his own decision to allot the office of Majority Leader to the Northwest with the highest number of APC legislators, adding for good measure that his decision was in compliance with the federal character requirement.

“A truth told with bad intent,” bellowed English engraver and poet William Blake, “beats all the lies you can invent.” Shorn of the thin veneer of respectability and magnanimity – one which actually masks his divide-and-rule ploy – is Dogara not equally as guilty of imposition as the party leaders he is pointing his oily finger at? “A bad beginning,” averred Greek mathematician Euclid, “makes a bad ending.” This national assembly has certainly started on a very bad note and its ending is predictable. What with the crass disdain for party authority, serial postponements of resumption date and allegations of forged 2015 Senate Standing Rules.

It is indeed very sad to accept that those we are entrusting with the onerous task of making good laws for the nation are turning out to be lawbreakers even before the first bill is passed! “The test of every religious, political or educational system,” declared Swiss philosopher and poet Henri Amiel, “is the man which it forms. If a system injures the intelligence it is bad. If it injures the character it is vicious, if it injures the conscience it is criminal.”

People of good conscience must roundly condemn the unfolding shenanigans in the national assembly. Institutions don’t build men; it is men who build institutions. Let no one try to con us; yes, we must aim at building strong institutions in order to checkmate the domineering tendencies of political godfathers but not if those breaking loose from their cocoons are opportunistically scheming to be replacement godfathers Mafiosi style! It is said that there are no permanent friendships but only permanent interests in politics. And no matter how those already warming up dice, spin or dance around it, the permanent interest at stake is who occupies Aso Rock Villa in 2019.

What I cannot yet fathom is PMB’s position in the unfolding chicanery. Has he given room – through his private comments or body language – to ambitious northern politicians to conceive the notion that he would be too old and fagged out to continue after 2015? If he has, then he should understand that the flagrant display at the national assembly can only ultimately make the nation ungovernable for him. And if he hasn’t, then he should simply take charge.

To say that the reigning All Peoples Congress (APC) is brimming with footloose and fancy free vagabond tigers is to state the very obvious. It, however, behoves the president and the APC leadership to timeously tame, and even castrate, them in order not to needlessly blur the president’s focus, else their famous mantra would only regrettably amount to a change in form but not in substance. God forbid!